The Accidental Princess

Jen Storer, Lucia Masciullo

The Accidental Princess
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The Accidental Princess

Jen Storer, Lucia Masciullo

Matilda and Iris Valentine don’t get along they’re as different as sisters can be. When Matilda steals Iris’s lucky penny and hides it in the lilac hedge, she receives a strange pinch mark on her hand. Little does she know she has been claimed by the hedge folk as their princess.

Matilda is drawn into the wonderful, magic world of the lilac hedge and finds they believe she is part of a prophecy - that she will save them from wicked invading imps, a giant malevolent toad, and a terrifying witch who the hedgefolk fear will return to destroy them.

Despite her fears and doubts, Matilda agrees to help rescue a kidnapped pixie, Waif. But she will need her big sister’s help, and now that she has accidentally become a princess, Iris is even less impressed with her …

Will Iris help her in her quest to save the hedge and its fairy folk, or could Iris really be so jealous that she would hand her own sister over to the evil Witch Queen of Trogmire?

Review

This book will sparkle on shelves and the invitation for young girls to pick it up will be temptingly strong. The delightful cover promises a sweet story of a young girl who will probably meet some beautiful fairies and they’ll all live happily ever after. What a deceiving façade! Matilda and Iris are sisters whose opposite natures often tend to conflict and, after one argument, Matilda takes a precious coin that Iris treasures greatly. What this unleashes isn’t a delicate tale of fey folk and gentle magic, but of old battles, dark curses and sinister characters.

This is a fine old-fashioned adventure that has just the right amount of scariness to drive the narrative and make the reader care about the sisters and their plight. Along with the humans, there are some quaint animals, loyal pixies, delicate pillywiggins, nasty imps and other marvellous and creepy folk. My favourite is the invincible Binny Trinket with her crisp turn of phrase and pushy ways; who would have thought a mouse could have so much gumption!

The Accidental Princess is the perfect package of strong story accompanied by atmospheric illustrations and, of course, that pretty, pretty cover. For ages seven and up.

Alexa Dretzke is a childrens' book specialist at Readings Hawthorn.

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